Posts Tagged ‘ Andorra ’

King’s Under 21’s Seek To Make History After Euro Draw


REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach  Noel King today gave his reaction to the UEFA U21 Championships 2017 Qualifying Round draw which has grouped his side with Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania and Andorra.

Group Two top seeds Italy have won this competition more often than any other nation – five times – while second seeds Serbia were champions once previously and won the UEFA U19 Championships in 2013 with the squad who will compete in this qualifying round. Continue reading

Ireland Primed For Armenia Challenge

Giovanni Trapattoni`s Ireland side host Armenia this evening (18.45) safe in the knowledge that the destiny of his team lies in their own hands. 

The wily Italian has sprung two enforced changes with Stephen Kelly and Simon Cox coming into the side to replace the suspended Stephen Ward and injured captain Robbie Keane. 

Trapattoni has come in for wide criticism for opting to field Cox ahead of West Brom team mate Shane Long but few can question Cox`s ability and goal scoring ratio for Ireland to date. 

Moscow hero Richard Dunne returns to the side having served a suspension, replacing Darren O`Dea. 

Ireland are well aware of the permutations that this tie offers. A win or a draw will be enough to see the boys in green through while a defeat will see Armenia advance at their expense. Should Ireland win and Russia lose to Andorra, then Trapattoni will have automatically guided his charges through to Euro 2012. However such is the nature of Andorran football that they are ranked among the worst teams in the world.

 Trapattoni has moved to quell rumours among the Irish support that his side will play for a draw.

He said: “It would be very, very wrong to start with that mentality. If we did that, it wouldn’t be my team. My team will always play to win.”

Trap`s Troops Set For Final Push

Giovanni Trapattoni`s Ireland side kick off a make or break double header against Andorra tonight knowing that their Euro 2012 destiny lies in their own hands. 

Victory is a must for the boys in green if they are to qualify automatically, six points from the remaining two games will ensure a playoff spot however should Russia fail to win either of their last two games Ireland could qualify automatically.

 The Irish side are well aware of the task at hand and are not underestimating an Andorran side who they have beaten with relative ease in recent times, including a 3-1 win earlier in the group. 

The tie has been somewhat overshadowed by the late decision by UEFA to move the tie from Barcelona to Andorra, thus hampering the travelling plans of many Irish fans. 

The Italian hasn’t made any major changes after recent suggestions that Birmingham City star Keith Fahey would start in place of Keith Andrews.

 Moscow hero Richard Dunne is out through suspension so Ireland welcome back Sean St Ledger who missed last months draw with Russia. With six players carrying yellow cards Trapattoni will be hoping his side put in a disciplined performance as Armenia await on Tuesday. 

Stephen Ward continues at left back while Sunderland’s John O`Shea takes over from Stephen Kelly at right back. Kevin Doyle retains his place despite his poor performance in recent outings.

A lot will be expected of midfield duo Andrews and Glenn Whelan, who have been heavily criticised for letting matches bypass them in recent times. Trappattoni has told Whelan to carry on as normal despite running the risk of suspension.

   Asked if Whelan’s situation was a concern, the Italian said: “Absolutely not.

“We have played well in the past when we have had players missing, against Italy, against Croatia and others.

“We must play with the right team and wait and see what happens.

“I hope not. I will advise him to be careful, but he must play like he always does.

“We have other midfielders. We have to play to win this game and ahead of the game in Dublin, we have time to think.

“These three points are more important than whether he gets a yellow card or not.”

  Ireland team to face Andorra (Friday, 20.30): Given, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward; Duff, Whelan, Andrews, McGeady; Doyle, Keane.

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

With Ireland fresh off the back of four straight victories it will be a long wait until our next competitive match in September. Such momentum would have been pivotal to carry into our next two crucial qualifiers that will determine our faith yet as the players take a break Irish News Review looks back at the highlights of a memorable season.

A is for Andorra. Ireland were pitted against the European minnows yet again en route to Euro 2012. 

B is for Bratislava. Ireland earned a point away to Slovakia but could have emerged with a win had Robbie Keane not missed a penalty on the stroke of half time. 

C is for Cox. West Brom star broke into Ireland team at the end of the season featuring in the final four games and scoring against both Northern Ireland and Italy. 

D is for David. Millwall goalkeeper Forde makes his debut against Italy at the age of 31, becoming the country’s oldest debutant in the post war era. 

E is for England. Possible friendly with the old enemy has been muted but as of yet no date has been arranged. 

F is for Fifty. The number of goals Robbie Keane eclipsed this season, breaking Bobby Charlton’s record in the north west corner of Europe. 

G is for Glasgow. The birthplace of James McCarthy whose international allegiance was questioned prior to him lining out in a competitive match for Ireland. 

H is for Hunger. Something Shay Given has never lost while sitting on the Man City bench all season. The Donegal native has shown no sign of decline in his performances despite Roberto Mancini`s constant refusal to pick him. 

I is for Ignorance. The FAI`s inability to reduce ticket prices has often led to a large number of empty seats at the 50,000 capacity Aviva.

 J is for John. FAI chief executive tried to appease fans by laying on trains and drink in Slovakia. 

K is for Kevin Doyle.Ireland will be hoping the Wexford native will be fit for September`s crucial qualifiers against joint Group B leaders Slovakia and Russia.

L is for Liege. Goals from Keith Andrews and Simon Cox ensured a famous 2-0 friendly victory over Italy in Belgium. 

M is for Macedonia. Back to back victories over the Macedonians leaves Ireland in a three horse tie at the top of the Euro 2012 qualifying group. 

N is for Nations Cup. Ireland swept aside Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to win the inaugural Carling Nations Cup.

 O is for O`Dea. Ipswich star slotted in comfortably in the absence of both Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger. 

P is for Pride. While some players have been questioned over their commitment to the cause, a new wave of talent is emerging that is hungrier than ever to wear the green shirt. 

Q is for Quality. While Ireland’s players are far from world beaters, the guidance of Trapattoni has gotten the best out of them. 

R is for Russia. The men from the Soviet Union taught the boys in green a lesson at the Aviva, a return date in September will define the group standings. 

S is for Seamus. Break out year for Everton star Seamus Coleman who has become a squad regular under Trapattoni. 

T is for Trickovski. The Macedonian star saw his penalty strike the crossbar in Skopje as Ireland earned a crucial 2-0 win. 

U is for Unbeaten. Great end of season form sees Ireland win four games in a row without conceding a goal. 

V is for Victory. To date Giovanni Trapattoni has a 46% win rate since taking over as Ireland manager in 2008.

W is for Walters. Stoke City striker pulls on the green jersey yet season ends in turmoil as he failed to show for end of season friendlies.

X is for X-Rated. Fiery Trap`s pitchside antics may not be too pleasing to parents ears. 

Y is for Yerevan. The Armenian capital where Ireland opened their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign. A Keith Fahey goal was enough to see Ireland take the three points 

Z is for Ze Hand. Thierry Henry`s cheeky handball that cost Ireland dearly hasn’t been forgotten, providing Trap with motivation to continue on until the 2014 World Cup as he has “unfinished business”.

Doyle,Long and Coleman Win Awards

Kevin Doyle claimed the honours tonight at the 3 FAI International football awards in RTE.

The Wolves hitman, who 24 hours earlier scored the winning goal as his side beat Manchester United, was on hand to pick up the gong for senior international player of the year and international goal of the year.

Elsewhere their were awards for Shane Long and Seamus Coleman, with the duo likely to feature in Tuesday`s opening Carling Cup nations tie with Wales.

3/FAI International Player of the Year Award winners:

Senior International Player of the Year
Kevin Doyle (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

3 International Goal of the Year
Kevin Doyle (v Andorra)

Young International Player of the Year
Shane Long (Reading)

Under-21 International Player of the Year
Seamus Coleman (Everton)

Airtricity League Player of the Year
Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers)

Hall of Fame
Frank Stapleton

International Personality
Ian Rush

Special Merit Award
Republic of Ireland Women’s Under-17 team

Under-19 International Player of the Year
Conor Clifford (Chelsea)

Under-17 International Player of the Year
Sean McGinty (Manchester United)

Under-16 International Player of the Year
Mikey Drennan (Aston Villa)

Senior Women’s International Player of the Year
Fiona O’Sullivan (AIK Stockholm)

Under-19 Women’s International Player of the Year
Becky Walsh (Salthill Devon)

Junior International Player of the Year
Ross Carrig (Killester Utd)

Intermediate Player of the Year
Seamie Crowe (Athenry)

Football for All International Player of the Year
Richard Dougherty (Irish Deaf Men’s Squad)

FAI School’s International Player of the Year
Robert Benson (Marist College, Athlone)